And Quevedo appeared and the WiZink fired; and not just because of the flames spewing from the front of the stage. There was an image that is the photo of a generation, that of today’s youth: the Canarian and the Argentinian Duki, two boys in their twenties singing reggaeton (“if they want to front, I have a lot of cats”) and 15,000 young people dancing, happy, with the rhythm of this time running through their bodies. Guille’s son, as Duki proudly sings vindicating his father, took Madrid last night in a concert with an important load of sociology and with Quevedo as a guest in a song. They are the musicians who have become great during the pandemic, stuck in their rooms and using the computer to compose danceable songs with messages of self-esteem and positive, just what the youth demanded.
There were many Argentines last night in the pavilion, eager to enjoy their compatriot, Mauro Ezequiel Lombardo duki, born 26 years ago in Almagro, a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Uncles with nephews, parents with children, friends hugging each other, the older brother with the younger one danced in the stands. Like Lola Marotta, 21 years old, and her brother Miguel, 14, Argentines residing in Madrid. She perfectly explains what Duki means: “The energy that he transmits is tremendous. He has a very good vibe. It makes me want to go out dancing, enjoy life, be with my friends, with my brother, live in the moment. Duki comes from below, from rapping in the street. That is also transmitted.”
Duki and Bizarrap are the main exponents of the Argentine urban music movement (a style that combines rap, reggaeton and Latinized pop) that is conquering a broad sector of youth. The list they head is long: Nicki Nicole, Trueno, Nathy Peluso, Paulo Londra, Cazzu… All from the land where legends of rock in Spanish were born such as Moris, Spinetta, Litto Nebbia, Charly García, Calamaro, Fito Paez… A country of a prodigious rock tradition that is now experiencing a musical revolution. Duki stopped studying at the age of 17, went to work in a pharmacy, took leave shortly to rap in the parks and went through a rough time with substances. He learned from everything and is now one of the most distinguished minds in the movement, a guy who maintains a neighborhood narrative that connects with people his age and also a sharp business vision.
He went on stage with a ski mask that soon came off to throw it into the audience and exhibit a face covered in tattoos. He was accompanied by a group of musicians, a novelty for rappers, who usually perform with a DJ (or, directly, with everything recorded). A drummer, a bassist and a guitarist (who also played keyboards) brought blood and nuances to the Argentine’s music. At times the group seemed like Rage Against The Machine for that powerful, funk and cutting sound. They only needed to attack Killing In The Name. It would have been luxurious.
Duki’s rap is sharp, expeditious. Use the autotune with treachery and mastery, he grabs the microphone tightly and spits out his texts of class pride that now amass dollars. “Fuck the caste system. / Effort is earned and pleasure is spent ”, she shrieked last night interpreting Givenchy. Hysteria gripped the WiZink as it booted up with the Session 50 from Bizarrap, where he recounts his life from mud to glory, because glory must be that thousands of people adore you: “And we had nothing, we lacked so much, but I put him like a warrior. / And we began to see money with bowling tours until we reached the stage”. The concert focused on rap, but there was room for other styles. The trio of musicians allowed him the flexibility to meddle in funk fields, or in soul, in the company of Dano. Even the reggaeton sounded less blocky with a guy pounding the drums. The Argentine showed that one of his strengths are the crescents rapped, when he chains increasingly imperative rhymes until the final explosion. His energy there is unstoppable.
During the hour and a half of the recital, he was grateful several times for the fiery response from the public. Almost at the end he made an emotional speech: “I am his brother. I am here for you, crazy people. Have dreams, fight for them. Thank you very much, crazy. In the last half hour and with the pavilion bouncing he interpreted Hello Cotto, Besides me either Malbec. In the penultimate, She Don’t Give a Fo, he chose a girl from the audience and brought her up on stage. Leti, who was called that, was singing the song with the star of the night, who finished the recital with Givenchy, where he sings his reality: “I gave fate a 360 turn. / I went up and we made it”. She left with her fingers forming a heart pattern, addressing the audience. Today Saturday it repeats in the Madrid venue again with everything sold and next weekend (March 3 and 4) it has full announcements in Barcelona (Palau Saint Jordi). In total, 60,000 people will see Duki in Spain in one week. Not bad at all for a boy who just over five years ago was rapping on the street.
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